Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Officers Unite against Laws Criminalizing Transgender People

By Priana Aquino and Alexander Jimenez

NEW YORK – Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP), an organization made up of newly-elected local prosecutors, recently issued a press release discussing harmful legislation criminalizing trans folks.

In this statement, 74 FJP members pledged to not provide resources and support to these oppressive state legislatures.

A vital part of FJP’s mission is to ensure equity and fairness in our legal system. The increase of state legislatures across the country criminalizing transgender people and gender-affirming healthcare is a clear violation of the legal system’s purpose to serve all, warranting this response from the FJP.

The statement was drafted in conjunction with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

“Transgender people experience unconscionably high rates of violent victimization, and discriminatory laws will only heighten that danger,” said Miriam Krinsky, Executive Director of Fair and Just Prosecution, the organizer of the statement.

There have been more than 105 bills that discriminate against trans folk proposed just in this last year, 10 of which have been signed into law. The FJP stated that it is their responsibility to promote safety for all people, and to fight against the proposition of other discriminatory bills.

“My community elected me to make decisions about how to use limited resources in the pursuit of justice and public safety,” said Nueces County, Texas, District Attorney Mark Gonzalez, a signatory to the statement.

“Laws criminalizing and discriminating against transgender people go against my duty to protect every member of my community and to pursue equity and justice,” he added.

This year alone, 20 state legislatures have proposed 29 restrictive bills pertaining to access to “lifesaving gender affirmative healthcare.” The letter highlights the effect that restrictive medical access bills have on trans youth.

According to a 2020 national survey, “over half of trans and non-binary youth seriously considered suicide.” Access to gender affirming healthcare is claimed to reduce not only risk of suicide but decrease lifetime suicidal ideation.

A number of medical organizations including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Endocrine Society concur that access to gender affirming care is critical for the health of trans youth.

Additionally, such bills will not only block access to such care but will also criminalize parents and doctors who allow for trans youth seeking “medically recommended treatments,” FJP said.

The group added that, coupled with years of legislation aimed at prohibiting trans people from using single-sex facilities, it is clear that trans people pose a threat to the community in the eyes of several state legislators nationwide, noting, “These bills have no legitimate public safety justification and will only increase harassment and violence against trans people.”

About The Author

S. Priana Aquino is a rising Senior at the University of San Francisco, majoring in Business with minors in Legal Studies and Public Service & Community Engagement. Upon graduation, she hopes to attend law school and continue her work in uplifting and advocating for communities of color.

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